Tearaway – Reviewed on Vita! | Gamerillaz

Tearaway – Reviewed on Vita!

Tearaway – Reviewed on Vita!
 

Tearaway is the latest platformer from Media Molecule; the team behind the popular LittleBigPlanet series. Given Media Molecule’s background it’s clear that creativity is something the team revel in and Tearaway can only be described as a creative, imaginative and beautiful game that fully utilises all of the Vita’s functionality. If you own a Vita then you should own this game.

The concept behind Tearaway is that the main character, Iota, must deliver a message to none other than you the player. Iota never loses sight of this mission for every time he glances at the sky he sees your big, fat face staring down at him from where the sun should be. You see, as the player, you’re very much on the outside looking into this world constructed entirely from paper but you can still find ways to help Iota traverse its many lands and avoid its perils. Much like the Vita itself, you really feel as though you are holding Iota’s world in the palm of your hands. At times you’ll be called to push your fingers into the world via the Vita’s rear touch pad, tilt the world on its Sixaxis, pull apart paper packages with your fingertips on the touch screen and even call out to Iota using the Vita’s mic. If ever a game made you feel truly part of the experience Tearaway is that game.

Okay so my face is terrifying but don’t let that deter you, Iota!

The Vita will be two years old next February and while a lot of games have tried different approaches to using its many and varied inputs not every game has succeeded in doing so. Somehow Media Molecule has succeeded in using them all, often at the same time, and in doing so has created one of the most special gaming experiences I’ve ever encountered. People often talk about Nintendo and Mario with regards to pure, joyous fun; a magical feeling that eludes other game developers. Well, Tearaway is one of those special experiences and has, in my mind, become the poster child for what the Vita can do.

People without fingers need not apply!

The gameplay itself involves controlling Iota with the Analog stick and navigating him through the world, jumping on platforms and dispatching the occasional enemy. While Tearaway has been described as a platformer, and it definitely is, it is also a puzzler in equal measure. Quite often it won’t be the jump that kills you but rather a personal misjudgement about which way the Vita should have been tilted at the point that your finger needed to be pushed through into the world. The gameplay never feels particularly challenging but will require you to stay focused and you’ll definitely need some dexterity to clear the later levels. The game doesn’t punish you for failing instead returning you to a nearby checkpoint. Even though the game is not that difficult its tricky design will catch you out. I died well over a hundred times on my play-through but it didn’t feel frustrating, it was just part of the fun.

Walking on glue will help Iota defy gravity!

The art style in Tearaway is really stunning. Literally everything is constructed from paper and the visual effects of the paper creasing and unfolding are really impressive. At times the art style can appear minimalist but during more crowded scenes and areas it all comes together to create something really unique. A nice addition to the game is that if you take pictures of certain colourless characters and objects with your in-game camera they not only become full of colour but also become available to download from www.tearaway.me to be printed out and constructed in the real world. I know that this is something I would have loved as a kid and is just another little thing about Tearway that sets it apart from other games. The music in the game is at times joyful and folk-like and can shift to more darker themes as the plot unfolds. Alongside the music come great sound effects of paper crumpling and creasing and it all comes together to create one impressive package.

You’ll meet a few friends along the way including this pig who doesn’t mind giving you a lift!

Tearaway is one of those rare games that come along every once in a while and manage to captivate your imagination and delight. If you haven’t played Tearaway then you haven’t been exposed to what your Vita is capable of. More importantly, you haven’t played one of the most inventive and charming games of the last few years. I’ve always enjoyed the LittleBigPlanet series but I connected to Tearway on a much deeper level and I cannot wait to find out what Media Molecule is cooking up on PS4. From its curious opening to its personal conclusion I literally could not tear myself away from Tearaway.

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